By now, we all know that the biggest scapegoat for the Houston Texans and their letdowns the past handful of seasons has been Matt Schaub. Every question and answer about this team results to some form of if he is the guy that they can win big with. But is it really all on Schaub?
There are usually two types of NFL fans: those who blame the quarterback for all of the team’s problems or those who blame the coach. I guess you could say that I fall into the latter category. I’m the first to admit that Schaub hasn’t played up to expectations and he does have his limitations. But to completely absolve Kubiak from any of the blame is foolish.
I’m a big proponent of the belief that if you’re going to get down on a player or coach when he is bad, make sure and give them props when they’re good. For the first two games, I’ve done both for each of these guys.
In Week 1, Gary Kubiak coached with aggression and a sense of urgency. This is something I’ve been begging for him to do for years. My question is, was it only because his team was getting walloped at the time and he had nothing to lose?
For whatever reason, when the team is down and trying to get back into a game, Schaub plays extremely well. He leads an uptempo offense that is successful more times than not, and more than I can count on my two hands, he’s put them in a position to win in comeback fashion. That one final big play was always missing, until this year through the first two games, that is.
So my other question is, why does Kubiak wait until the team is getting obliterated before the takes the handcuffs off Schaub as a quarterback? Chris Myers claims they run audibles at the line of scrimmage, but there are still many who don’t buy it.
We’ve never seen Schaub move players around on the line or change position based off of what he’s seeing in front of him. For the longest time, most have assumed he simply isn’t capable of it. But why is it so far fetched to put this on his control freak of a coach?
I’m not asking for him to let Schaub go out there and play offensive coordinator a la Peyton Manning, but I do believe that he has him handcuffed to one, two reads at the most. It showed this past Sunday where there are three dangerous catching threats on the field and Schaub kept checking down if Andre Johnson wasn’t open.
Again, the theory there is that Schaub gets tunnel-vision for Johnson and is locked in on him, others be damned. But much like the myth of “Schaub can’t throw a fade pass,” I think this one is starting to get debunked.
With the emergence of DeAndre Hopkins in this offense, all of a sudden Schaub is hitting a receiver in stride, hitting him perfectly with a fade route and spreading the ball around more effectively.
The questions do still remain if Schaub is the guy who can make those reads, go through all of his progressions and stand in a collapsing pocket long enough to hit the open guy. I believe that he can, and it’s something that has gotten me accused of being an apologist on numerous occasions. That’s fine, but I think it’s a weak criticism since I don’t play favorites on an NFL roster. I can’t even name my favorite player on this team, so it’s just a silly statement.
While the masses continue to cry out that the team will never make it to, or win a Super Bowl with Matt Schaub at quarterback, I’m sticking with the very small percentage of folks who believes he can if his coach can just relinquish even a little bit of control.